Wednesday, January 07, 2009

RTN Using National Feed; CBS Pulls Password on Sundays, Rules Back on Mondays in March

The other day we gave you an update on what is happening at RTN (Retro Television Network). On Sunday morning, many RTN affiliates had an on-screen message saying the contract with Equity has expired. Then shortly after RTN resumed programming or was replaced totally. On Equity-owned stations, like in Buffalo, RTN has been replaced totally with other programming. RTN was once owned by Equity, but was sold to Luken Communications in June. Equity's contract to distribute RTN had been extended a week past its Dec. 24 expiration date but Dec. 24 also was the deadline on Equity's option to buy back RTN from current owner Luken Communications. Equity is no longer allowed to air the RTN programs on its stations, including WNGS in Buffalo. However, an Equity spokesperson said it eventually might be able to bring the RTN programs back to the Equity stations.
For non-Equity stations, RTN is now using its national feed to program RTN. RTN stations had their own local feed, but due to this Equity fiasco, RTN made a sooner-than-expected flash cut to a new master control and uplink center in Chattanooga, Tenn. By 9 a.m. Sunday, it was able to restore service to most of their stations (not Equity-owned stations, of course) with national feeds.
So what is the schedule like for this national feed? I suggest you take a look at the national feed schedule we posted, so you know what is going to air. Now there are reports that RTN is way off time right now airing shows up to 20 minutes late, so be aware of that. This national feed might be good for some stations because they will get programs that weren't on their local feed. Until this is resolved, RTN will have this national feed to all of its stations. It could be up until today or last the rest of the month or longer, so no idea right now. But it will be nice to see Munsters Today and Harry and the Hendersons on Sunday morning for those stations who didn't get those! If this conflict is still going on Sunday, that is.
There were only four major Equity-owned RTN stations that RTN lost: Little Rock; Buffalo, N.Y.; Panama City, Fla.; and Spokane, Wash. They account for less than 1 percent of the nation's TV households, a small fraction of the network's total reach, which now hovers around 40 percent. In any event, the lost affiliates will be replaced quickly by new affiliates.
RTN won't be allowed to air original programming that Equity had produced such as the late night series Unreliable Sources and Closing Remarks, so total classic TV fans are happy about that, I'm sure.
Equity also refused to transfer RTN's website to RTN. So fans looking for RTNville.com, the website is now MyRetroTV.com. On some stations, RTN is calling themselves MyRetroTV, as well. Will this fiasco force them to change their name, too? We shall see. I'm trying to get in touch with RTN (Mark and Neal if you're reading, please contact me!), and we hope to reach them soon. Due to all of this, their contact info has changed. We hope to try and sit down with them to get you all the information you need. Maybe another Seven Questions interview? We'll try!

CBS has altered its Sunday schedule for the next three weeks. They have pulled Million Dollar Password. The show was originally scheduled for its final two new episodes on Jan. 11 and 25. The show has been doing decent in total viewers but lagging in the adult 18-49 demo. This Sunday (January 11) a special 60 Minutes will air at 8pm following an NFL playoff game from 4-8pm. On Sunday, January 18, CBS will air an all-new episode of The Mentalist on a special night & time at 10pm ET (7pm PT) following the NFL AFC Championship Game from 6-10pm ET. The Mentalist will air immediately following the game on ALL time zones. So 9pm CT, 8pm MT and 7pm PT. In Mountain and Pacific zones, a repeat of The Unit will follow 9pm MT and 8pm PT. Pacific time will have local programming after the repeat of The Unit. Finally, on Sunday, January 25, Million Dollar Password will be replaced with an all-new Cold Case at a special time of 8pm, leading into the Hallmark Hall of Fame Movie from 9-11pm.
So what does this mean for Million Dollar Password? The following week is the Super Bowl, so it is not likely a new episode will air against that. It can't air on Feb. 8 because of the Grammy Awards and then starting Feb. 15 The Amazing Race returns to the slot. So looks like it will not return to Sundays anytime soon. What about Thursdays at 8? They have repeats scheduled thru January 22, but nothing has been booked for January 29 and Feb. 5, so the two final episodes can air then maybe? Survivor returns Feb. 12. I do expect these two episodes to air but not sure exactly when yet. We'll let you know.
Meanwhile, CBS has announced it will return sitcom Rules of Engagement on Monday, March 2 following Two and a Half Men at 9:30pm ET/PT. Worst Week will finish its 16 episodes on Feb. 9 and we won't know probably if that show will return next season until upfront in May. It doesn't look too promising, though. CBS will air repeats on Feb. 16 and 23 of other CBS comedies likely until Rules launches.
View our full CBS schedule updates.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (April)

The Odd Couplete (2015) - Season One Family Matters - The Complete Sixth Season Veep - The Complete Fourth Season The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official First Season Hot in Cleveland - Season Six

04/05 - 10 Items or Less - The Complete Series
04/05 - Episodes - The Fourth Season
04/05 - The Odd Couple (2015) - Season One
04/12 - Family Matters - The Complete Sixth Season
04/12 - Grace and Frankie - Season One
04/12 - Welcome to Sweden - The Complete Second Season
04/19 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
04/19 - Veep - The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
04/26 - The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official First Season
04/26 - Hot in Cleveland - Season Six
04/26 - Hot in Cleveland - The Complete Series
04/26 - Schitt's Creek - The Complete Second Season
04/29 - The Monkees - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Saturday, April 30

Henry Danger - "Ox Pox" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Piper gets a mysterious illness, Captain Man must travel back in time to the 1700s to find the only cure.

School of Rock - "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" (Nickelodeon, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Zack gets poached by another band right before the Battle of the Bands audition. But he learns a lesson about loyalty and friendship when he has to find a way back into School of Rock. Guest Star: Kendall Schmidt.

Bella and the Bulldogs - "Bella in the Spotlight" (Nickelodeon, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Bella notices that all of the attention on the Bulldogs is on her, so she tries to get the rest of the team the credit they deserve. Sophie helps Newt in a robot battle competition.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 2)

Saturday, April 30

  • Josie Bissett (The Hogan Family) and Laura San Giacomo (Just Shoot Me!) - Josie and Laura will be featured on Oprah: Where Are They Now? at 10pm ET/PT on OWN.
Monday, May 2
  • Louis C.K. (Louie) - Watch Louis on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Carol Kane (Taxi/American Dreamer/Pearl) - Carol drops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • John Stamos (Grandfathered/Jake in Progress/Full House) - John visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) - Tituss is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Riki Lindhome (Another Period/Super Fun Night) - Riki drops by The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore at 11:30pm on Comedy Central.
  • Rachael Harris (Surviving Jack/Notes from the Underbelly) - Rachael appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Amanda Crew (Silicon Valley) - Amanda stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Dave Coulier (Fuller House/Full House) - Dave is a guest on The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • Tichina Arnold (Survivor's Remorse/Happily Divorced/Everybody Hates Chris/Martin) - Tichina appears on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Morris Chestnut (Out All Night) - Morris discusses Rosewood on the AOL Build Show at 3:45pm.
  • Bill Engvall (The Bill Engvall Show) - Bill appears on The Doctors, so check your local listings.
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family/The Class) - Jesse is a guest on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.